Roger Federer, a genius who made tennis look effortless, is still the same, and no one who meets him can help but admire him.
Even so, he admits to some frustration—a feeling that, with his game still so well-developed, he can do so much more than his level of tennis requires of him. If he is to play at a higher level, he has to rediscover his own sense of his tennis.
“I think in one way this injury forced me to re-think a lot,” Federer admits. “I think I can be so much more than I am.
“I think the truth of the matter is, I’ve been very fortunate in the time I’ve been in tennis, and I think the thing is that this is the moment when I have the opportunity to change a lot of things in my tennis, and if I’m successful in this injury and come back stronger, I’ve got the chance to make it big.”
“And I say this without any pressure, without worrying about playing the same amount that I have now,” he continued. “I’ve had a lot of good years in my career, and I hope I can do some more.”
Federer’s motivation to prove that he is capable of doing more has deep roots—as the son of a tennis coach, he has always had an aptitude for the game. He was the winner of his first junior doubles title at age nine under the guidance of his father, and when he was 12, he won the Junior U.S. Open title, which he would later win again.
But he didn’t start to realize his full potential until he was 19, when he won his first professional title at Wimbledon, and he did so the following year at the Australian Open. He was invited to the U.S. Open a few months later, where he won a record-tying six matches at the tournament in New York.
He did not go on to win that year’s U.S. Open title